Arsenal host Liverpool tonight in a key Premier League showdown at Emirates Stadium.
The high-profile meeting will offer a true litmus test of the Gunners’ progress under Mikel Arteta after an impressive run of five straight wins that has seen them take charge of the crowded race for a fourth-place finish.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will be desperate for their own ninth successive league victory after Manchester City’s goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Monday night further opened the door to their title rivals.
Jurgen Klopp’s side would sit just one point behind the leaders if they were to triumph again in north London this evening.
Given Takehiro Tomiyasu’s fitness struggles, Cedric Soares should start at right-back, where he will have the hard task of trying to keep Luis Diaz quiet. Diaz has made a flying start to his Liverpool career since joining in January and, while Cedric has performed well in recent weeks, he must now up his game to a new level.
It was noticeable during Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat at Anfield earlier this season how Fabinho bossed midfield. The Brazilian is one of the best at breaking up play and kept Arsenal’s attack quiet. Since then, Thomas Partey has turned his season around — and now the Ghanaian can show how far he has come.
Keep Alexander-Arnold quiet: There are few sides who can boast a right-back as one of their biggest attacking weapons, but Liverpool can. Trent Alexander-Arnold has more assists in the Premier League than anyone this season and Arsenal must find a way of nullifying his threat. Gabriel Martinelli has the pace to have him thinking twice about bombing on down that right flank.